Cemetery

Cemetery is a term used to denote the burial place of the early Christians, including those excavated underground and commonly known as catacombs.

Names used in ancient times.

Among the various names by which the Christians of the first centuries designated the burial places of their dead, the Greek koimētērion or the Latin equivalent cœmeterium is the most common and probably the oldest. It is found neither in the Septuagint nor in the New Testament, but the verb koimasthai, “to lie down to rest”, “to sleep”, occurs in both a literal and a metaphorical sense, usually the latter in the New Testament (metaphorically: Matthew 27: 52; Acts 7:60; 13:36; 1 Corinthians 7:39; 15: 6,18,20,51; 1 Thessalonians 4:13; 2 Peter 3: 4; literally: Matthew 28:13; Luke 22:25 ; Acts 12: 6). While the word koimētērion is rare in ancient Greek (the Cretans, according to Athenaeus, applied it to a room to entertain guests), Christians and Jews constantly used it for individual and family graves and for larger plots. funeral, either above or below the ground. On the other hand, there is only one dubious case of its use in a pagan inscription for a burial site (CIL, viii. 7543), compared to thousands where other terms are used. That the term was recognized as a distinct Christian and Jewish term is clear from how it was used as an unknown term in the ordinances of the Roman emperors (Eusebius, Hist. Eccl., VII. Xi. 13). Latin-speaking Christians sometimes also used the term accubitory, which originally meant (from the Roman custom of lying down at the table) dining room. These words show his relationship with Christian hope, which saw only one sleeping in the dead. In addition to these specifically Christian expressions, the inscriptions provide several others, of a more general nature, in addition to some of minor importance, such as the hypogæum (or a site of catagion) to designate small underground cemeteries for Christians and Gentiles. Modern scientists often use this term to designate underground burial sites, regardless of their size or arrangement. The word area is also found among Latin speakers, especially in North Africa, and it became common to follow De Rossi to use it for all burial sites in the old above-ground church. as the hypogæum (or a catagion site) to designate small underground cemeteries for Christians and Gentiles. Modern scientists often use this term to designate underground burial sites, regardless of their size or arrangement. The word area is also found among Latin speakers, especially in North Africa, and it became common to follow De Rossi to use it for all burial sites in the old above-ground church. as the hypogæum (or a catagion site) to designate small underground cemeteries for Christians and Gentiles. Modern scientists often use this term to designate underground burial sites, regardless of their size or arrangement. The word area is also found among Latin speakers, especially in North Africa, and it became common to follow De Rossi to use it for all burial sites in the old above-ground church.

The name “catacomb” is newer than any of those mentioned above, but it has become common to designate not only underground cemeteries for early Christians but also for Jews and other peoples. It first appears in connection with the Circus of Maxentius near the Appian Road on the outskirts of Rome, in an inscription that has the phrase fecit et circum in catechumens. In the case of a Christian cemetery, it is not detectable until the year 354, since it appears as a specific denomination of the San Sebastián de la Via Appia cemetery, to which it was confined for centuries. Johannes Diaconus is the oldest evidence of its application to other Christian cemeteries, both inside and outside of Rome. But even if the word is now known, there is no certainty about its original meaning.

Christian funerals and public cemeteries

Basic ideas.

The burial of Christ in the garden was taken as a model for his disciples. The fact that in older Christian literature (including the New Testament) and shortly after, there is a ban on cremation, with the absence of traces of cremation, burial urns and the like, shows that burial on earth was the law . . Originally based on the example of Christ, the relationship between the resurrection of the body and its burial was confirmed by reasoning. But Minucius Felix prefers burial to cremation simply because it is “the oldest and best custom” (Octavio, xxxiv. 11). Augustine (De civitate Dei, i. 22; De cura pro mortuis, iii, etc.) takes burial for granted, and so does Origen in the east (Contra Celsum, v. 23, viii. 49; De principiis, ii . 10). It is impossible to determine how many Christians in apostolic times were buried in Jewish and pagan caves; but later a strict boundary line was established, at least from the time of Tertullian. The Christian graves did not have to be far apart, but there must be a space between them and the pagans, because Christians buried in pagan caves are strictly forbidden and vice versa. Therefore, early Christianity was as exclusive in death as it was in its worship during life. because Christians buried in pagan caves are strictly forbidden and vice versa. Therefore, early Christianity was as exclusive in death as it was in its worship during life. because Christians buried in pagan caves are strictly forbidden and vice versa. Therefore, early Christianity was as exclusive in death as it was in its worship during life.

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